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Ocwen Financial (NYSE:OCN) investors are sitting on a loss of 37% if they invested five years ago

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Ocwen Financial Corporation (NYSE:OCN) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 23% in the last month. But if you look at the last five years the returns have not been good. In fact, the share price is down 37%, which falls well short of the return you could get by buying an index fund.

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

View our latest analysis for Ocwen Financial

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

Ocwen Financial became profitable within the last five years. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.

It could be that the revenue decline of 5.4% per year is viewed as evidence that Ocwen Financial is shrinking. This has probably encouraged some shareholders to sell down the stock.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for Ocwen Financial in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

A Different Perspective

The total return of 17% received by Ocwen Financial shareholders over the last year isn't far from the market return of -16%. Unfortunately, last year's performance is a deterioration of an already poor long term track record, given the loss of 6% per year over the last five years. Weak performance over the long term usually destroys market confidence in a stock, but bargain hunters may want to take a closer look for signs of a turnaround. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Ocwen Financial (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable) that you should be aware of.

Ocwen Financial is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.